Wow. This is a really downer of a tagline. I hope it will cause you to read further.
I attended an exposition yesterday on successful aging, sponsored the the Daily Breeze, our local South Bay newspaper (Los Angeles area). I was talking with vendors about participating in our prostate cancer / breast cancer awareness event November 9th, 2009 at the velodrome at the Home Deport Center in Carson, CA.
Speaking with one of the vendors, I heard another story about a man, aged 54, just diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer, already metastasized to bone. This makes me wonder what it will take for men to come to grips with the self-induced fear about digital rectal examinations (DRE). Most of us played sports in our youth and experienced sprained joints, broken limbs, painful sunburns, jelly fish stings and possible a bouncing baseball to the tender private parts. A DRE isn’t as painful as any of these – nor are the needle biopsies if that should become necessary. Prostate cancer is the number two cancer killer of men, approximately 29,000 men each year, and the incidence of prostate cancer is rising. Despite massive investments in research, there is no effective cure for cancer. Ideally we will learn at some point the causes for cancer and be able to take preventative measure. Until that time, the best we can do is detect cancer sufficiently early that we can treat it where possible. Prostate cancer is highly treatable if cause early, prior to metastasis.
Here’s my personal prescription:
- Test. Beginning at age 35, have an annual PSA test (until something better is developed).
- Track. Track the change – hopefully there is none – and discuss it with your doctor. Track the data on your refrigerator door. Download and print one of simple PSA trackers from our website.
- Treat. If you fall into the unfortunate group of about 200,000 men who are diagnosed each year, work with your doctor to determine your best course of treatment.
- Live. If you’ve done all this, move to a healthy diet and exercise, and you’ve probably done all you can.
Finally, take a moment and encourage your friends to follow the same path.